David Martin’s inquest begins in Ipswich - amid reports from BBC Panorama of 50% increase in ‘unexpected’ mental health deaths
PUBLISHED: 09:00 06 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:20 06 February 2017
The family of an mentally-ill man who died amid filth and squalor in Ipswich are hoping for answers at this week’s long-awaited inquest.
David Martin was discovered dead in his Ipswich flat on September 11, 2014 – four days after his 52nd birthday. Pneumonia was listed as the cause of death.
He had been receiving care from the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), having been diagnosed with complex mental health issues, including bipolar manic depression, schizo-affective disorder and schizophrenia, which he had lived with since his early adult years. He also suffered from a number of physical disabilities affecting his stomach and mobility.
His brother, Steve Martin, has previously criticised changes to the care offered, prior to his death, which he said arose from budget cuts.
The funding for David’s flat to be cleaned, previously paid for by Suffolk County Council, was also cut.
When visiting David’s flat after his death, Steve said it had not been cleaned for six weeks; it was damp, there was no hot water and his bedroom window had been broken.
The NSFT has previously offered its “sincerest condolences” to the family but said it had “fully investigated” the care it provided, which it claims was relevant to his mental health needs.
A five-day inquest into David Martin’s death begins at the Ipswich Coroner’s Court this morning, led by Suffolk coroner Peter Dean.
It comes on the day of BBC’s Panorama programme, which will report on a 50% rise in the number of unexpected deaths at England’s mental health trusts in the past three years.